The Perfect Escape...To A Vegan Diet
We fired up the BBQ in our 10m Arctic Cabin to give some meat alternatives and new vegan grill recipes a try. All in the name of research, you understand! One of the many pleasures of an Arctic Cabins™ BBQ hut is the fabulous central BBQ which means that you can deliver perfectly grilled burgers even when the Great British summer is not delivering BBQ weather!
We're feeling this big shift to plant based vegan diets right now. With more and more people turning to veganism on a daily basis, there's a huge hunger for plant based recipes. Programmes like The Game Changers (Netflix 2019), with impressive stories from top athletes who've adopted a plant-based vegan diet, such as Lewis Hamilton, ultrarunner Scott Jurek and strongman Patrik Baboumian, are providing viewers with a change in thought about sources of protein in their diets. Not to mention the effect that the meat industry is having on our environment.
Here are four of our favourites. Seriously, the 'Oh Behave' Aubergines...! Yum. Do you have your own favourite grilled vegan dish? We'd love to hear any grilled vegan BBQ recipe suggestions in the comments box!
1 - Homemade Vegan Falafel Burgers In Toasted PittaYou'll Need:
2 tbsp plain flour
1 chopped red onion
1 chopped garlic clove
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dry mixed herbs
1⁄2 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1 - Drain the chickpeas and pat them dry with kitchen roll.
2 - Blend the chickpeas, flour, garlic, red onion, mixed herbs, cumin, coriander, and chilli powder together with a pinch of salt and pepper until you have a fairly smooth consistency. We chose to have the blender on a lower speed for longer rather than blast into a pulp quickly – feel free to experiment!
3 - Shape the mix into 'burger' patties using your hands. (We find the mix makes two lovely big burgers or four regular sized ones).
4 - Quick fry on both sides in olive oil, just to bind the outer surface of the patties, before transferring them to barbecue for that flame grilled taste.
5 - Lightly toast pittas on the grill, slice open, add your burgers.
Serve with salad and enjoy.
Verdict: One was not enough! It's not that they were not filling - they're just so tasty that they demand a second helping!
2 - Vegan Grilled Cauliflower Sirloin SteaksYou'll Need:
1 cauliflower, cut into 1-inch thick slices
Mixed dried herbs
Ground black pepper (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
1 - Cut the cauliflower into 2cm steaks (slices) and brush on both sides with the olive oil.
2 - Season with black pepper (to taste), the mixed dried herbs, and a pinch of salt.
3 - Place cauliflower slices on your Arctic Cabin grill and cook each side for about five minutes, turning regularly.
4 - Generously brush barbecue sauce onto both sides of your steaks and return them to the grill for about another five minutes each side.
Verdict: Actually much better than we'd expected. We lightly fried some fennel seeds to sprinkle on the steaks as we dished up and served on a bed of brown rice. Kids actually forgot they were eating cauliflower, so wins all around!
We found that a regular-sized cauliflower makes 4 decent sized steaks.
3 - Vegan Grilled 'Oh Behave' AuberginesYou'll Need:
Sprinkle of sesame seeds
Mixed dried herbs
1 - Slice the aubergines lengthways into steaks and score with a knife (this will allow the hoisin sauce to really soak into your aubergine during cooking).
2 - Brush each side of your aubergines with olive oil and place on your Arctic Cabin grill, turning at least once until cooked through. (This has varied each time we've tried, but eight minutes seems to be the average time.)
3 - When cooked, remove the aubergines from the grill and spread a generous layer of hoisin sauce on each side. Sprinkle on the mixed dried herbs and sesame seeds, and then return to the grill - but only for a minute or two because the sauce can burn if you get distracted at this point, so focus!!
Verdict: Oh My!! The hoisin sauce compliments the aubergine to the extent that we questioned why we hadn't put them together before! The scoring is worth the effort to allow the sauce to permeate deep into the flesh of the aubergine giving you a fuller, juicier experience. We have served this on rice and in pittas. Both worked so well that the next time we served with both!
4 - Vegan Grilled Traffic Light Tofu KebabsYou'll Need:
Sweet chilli sauce (a generous dollop!!)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
3 garlic cloves (crushed) - or garlic granules worked too!
400g tofu - go for the firmest you can get and cut into cubes!
Then pick out some veg to suit your tastes. We choose:
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
1 red onion
A pack of button mushrooms
1 - Stir the sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic into a mixing bowl.
2 - Press your tofu (how? See the top tip below) and then cut into cubes. Then add to the mix and marinate for about half an hour. Pour yourself a glass of wine!
3 - While the tofu is marinating, prepare kebab-sized chunks of peppers, onion and mushroom (and whatever vegetables you have chosen - courgette was a particular success).
4 - Slide your tofu cubes and veg onto skewers. (TOP TIP: We used metal skewers but if you're using wooden ones, soak them in water first as it makes them less likely to catch fire!)
5 - Grill your skewers on your Arctic Cabin barbecue for no more than 10 minutes (turn regularly and brush with the leftover marinade).
6 - Serve on a bed of salad, drizzling any remaining marinade over the kebabs first.
TOP TIP: Pressing tofu is the greatest lesson I have learned from all of this!! The water helps tofu stay fresh in the shop but is totally unnecessary once opened, so pressing out the water gives you a nice firm product to grill. Drain the excess water and rinse off your tofu block with cool water. Then, to press the excess water out, you'll need to line a plate with several sheets of paper towel. Place the tofu block on top, add several more sheets of kitchen roll on top followed by an upturned plate. Stack a chunky book on top to add some weight and leave the tofu to press for up to 30 minutes. It'll be lovely and firm for grilling now!
So there you go - that's just four grilled vegan recipe ideas! We'd love to hear any that you have in the comments. If you'd like to hear more about our Arctic Cabins BBQ huts and the fabulous integrated central BBQ, visit our show site, website, or give us a call.